Infusion number 7 is officially complete! This means (hopefully) I’m on the downward slope now and we can wrap up these infusions in the early fall.
Today’s labs, appointment and infusion were relatively uneventful — some might even say boring. Which is great! I’ll take boring any day. I’ve got a couple of new patches of “white spots” on various parts of my skin where I’m losing pigment. Apparently this is a normal side effect for melanoma patients. I told Renee about them today and she said she’s a little happy I have those, as it means I’m still responding to Nivolumab. Overall, there was no new news, and everything was fine. Or as fine as it could be. When I think about it, it is a little strange how routine this has all become.
Speaking of routine, we have a food truck that visits our office every Wednesday during lunch. (Seems like an odd transition, but just hang on a sec.) It’s always a different one, but it’s fun cause you can try new things without having to go anywhere. Yesterday, we had a Panini truck at lunch and I was super looking forward to it. After an offsite client meeting, I came back and stopped at the truck to get some lunch. Then, I brought my food upstairs into our conference room to debrief on the meeting we just had and excitedly took a bite of my delicious Panini. All of a sudden, it hit me. This was the exact sandwich from the exact same food truck I had when I got the phone call that I had a brain tumor. And just like that, this random, innocent Panini triggered the most vivid flashback.
I remember ordering food (although prior to yesterday I couldn’t tell you what it was) and waiting for it. While waiting, I got a phone call from my oncologist about the results from my brain MRI. At this point, I was still in heavy denial. I got off the phone and my coworker had gotten my food from the food truck. I remember walking up to her with tears in my eyes saying “the more these things keep showing up, the harder it is to believe it’s all a coincidence.” We went back upstairs because I had a phone interview with a potential applicant. Suddenly I wasn’t hungry anymore but I knew I should eat. I sat at my desk, silently crying and trying to choke down this panini. Then, I got on the phone and kept putting myself on mute so I could cry. it was an awful, awful afternoon.
Out of nowhere, I was just left with this vivid flashback of receiving horrible news. That’s the thing about Cancer. I’m not exaggerating when I say, having cancer can really be a total mindf!ck. It’s not just anxiety around scans, appointments or random aches and pains. It’s an ever-present thing that smacks you in the face from time-to-time and never lets you forget it. There you are, casually eating a food truck Panini and BAM.
I’m hoping that eventually my memories won’t be as vivid. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a steel trap memory and I remember EVERYTHING. Although I’m thankful for my good memory, it doesn’t always serve me well in times like these ;)